Tuesday 23 January 2018

Trump claims North Korean leaders 'won't be around much longer' as world leaders continue to trade threats

  • Trump and North Korean leaders trade increasingly threatening insults
  • Minister says a "forlorn hope" that North Korea will change stance
  • U.S. bombers fly in international airspace near North Korea
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., prepares to take off from Andersen AFB, Guam, on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Pentagon says B-1B bombers from Guam and F-15 fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, have flown a mission in international airspace over the waters east of North Korea. The U.S. says it's the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula that any American fighter or bomber has flown this century.(Staff Sgt. Joshua Smoot/U.S. Air force via AP)
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., prepares to take off from Andersen AFB, Guam, on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Pentagon says B-1B bombers from Guam and F-15 fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, have flown a mission in international airspace over the waters east of North Korea. The U.S. says it's the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula that any American fighter or bomber has flown this century.(Staff Sgt. Joshua Smoot/U.S. Air force via AP)
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Pentagon says B-1B bombers from Guam and F-15 fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, have flown a mission in international airspace over the waters east of North Korea. The U.S. says it's the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula that any American fighter or bomber has flown this century. (Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/U.S. Air Force via AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday that North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and leader Kim Jong Un "won't be around much longer" if Ri echoed the thoughts of "Little Rocket Man", an apparent reference to Kim.

Ri told the United Nations General Assembly earlier on Saturday that targeting the U.S. mainland with its rockets was inevitable after "Mr Evil President" Trump called Pyongyang's leader "rocket man".

In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Pentagon says B-1B bombers from Guam and F-15 fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, have flown a mission in international airspace over the waters east of North Korea. The U.S. says it's the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula that any American fighter or bomber has flown this century. (Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/U.S. Air Force via AP)
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Pentagon says B-1B bombers from Guam and F-15 fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, have flown a mission in international airspace over the waters east of North Korea. The U.S. says it's the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula that any American fighter or bomber has flown this century. (Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/U.S. Air Force via AP)

"Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!" Trump tweeted.

Trump and Kim have traded increasingly threatening and personal insults as Pyongyang races towards its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States - something Trump has vowed to prevent.

In an unprecedented direct statement on Friday, Kim described Trump as a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" whom he would tame with fire. His comments came after Trump threatened in his maiden UN address on Thursday to "totally destroy" the country of 26 million people.

It was not clear from Trump's latest tweet if he was referring to Ri and Kim, or North Korea more broadly.

A man watches a television screen showing US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in South Korea (AP/Ahn Young-joon)
A man watches a television screen showing US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in South Korea (AP/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb test on Sept. 3, prompting another round of U.N. sanctions. Pyongyang said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

"It is only a forlorn hope to consider any chance that the DPRK (North Korea) would be shaken an inch or change its stance due to the harsher sanctions by the hostile forces,” Ri told the UN General Assembly on Saturday.

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday in a show of force the Pentagon said indicated the range of military options available to Trump.

Reuters

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